Crisp and buttery then rolled in powered sugar, these classic pecan sandies have always reminded me of snowballs which is why I love them for the holidays.
The holidays have always served to be a bittersweet time for me, filled with memories of traditions from what feels like another life. So much so, that those traditions at one point became an instrument of my own sadness.
If there is anything this year has taught me- and it has taught me many things- it's that traditions are our security. They connect us to the past, our loved ones who are no longer here with us, and bring us together to remind us what is truly important in life- family.
There is a different feeling this season and it isn't sadness or despair, despite the setbacks we have all faced this year. As cliché as it may sound to say around this time, there is a feeling of hope pulsing through the air. Neighbors have gone to great lengths putting out their best holiday displays, staying connected with one another, and regular check-ins of 'hi, how are you?'. We may be apart but I've also never felt more connected.
“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.” ― W. Somerset Maugham
Harkening back to my earlier sentiments, traditions were just memories I held dear in my heart. While writing this post I started to think about my own traditions and as Maugham so accurately wrote, my traditions did become my jailer- trapping me in a past life that I longed for again but knew I could never get back. In a way, I believe it kept me from truly enjoying many holiday seasons past, but this year I've realized that I do have unintentional traditions that I've created with own family- putting up the Christmas tree at night listening to my daughter's winter playlist, making a new ornament each year, and baking cookies for kind and generous neighbors.
That brings us to today's recipe- Pecan Sandies.
How apropo that these little snowball like cookies were made right before Winter Storm Gail hit the North East and what a delightful treat they made for sweet friends who came by to help shovel the snow.
You may recognize these as Mexican Wedding Cookies or Snowball Cookies- they are like the store-bought kind but better and rolled in powered sugar. The recipe itself couldn't be easier with just a handful of pantry ingredients and they quite literally melt in your mouth. You can always swap the nuts you are using for walnuts or hazelnuts even. Just don't forget that extra sprinkling of powdered sugar at the end.
More Christmas Traditions to Savor
Italian Style Cream Puffs - Intricate but not complicated, these Italian Style Cream Puffs are worth every bit of effort this holiday season. We complete ours with a light yet decadent Ricotta Cream and Amaretto filling.
Italian Butter Cookies - Soft, buttery cookies are sandwiched together with raspberry jam then dipped in chocolate and sprinkles for the classic, bakery favorite we all grew up loving!
Struffoli (Italian Honey Balls) - Crisply fried dough balls are bound together with warm honey then piled high and topped with cherries and sprinkles.